The Nation of Islam is a political and religious organization, which was founded in 1930s in the United States, and since then has undergone a number of significant transformations of its ideology under different leaders. The organization claims to be struggling for the rights and equality of African Americans, while in fact it ends up contribution into further misunderstandings and animosity, thus discrediting the African American community and using racist rhetoric instead of trying to combat racism.
The Nation of Islam is both a religious and political organization, which was founded in 1930 in Detroit. According to the organization’s official web site, their mission is to bring African American people to freedom and peace, to free them from the supremacy of the whites and teach them the true Islam. Which all sounds perfectly well on the one hand, but there is a number of issues, which come up in relation to the official doctrine. First of all, it is a weird way to combat racism by means of claiming some race as a supreme race. This is, however, what NOI founders repeatedly claimed. The black race is considered by them as the supreme race, while the whites are said to be the Satan race, which is not the most peaceful rhetoric and certainly does not contribute into equality and combating racism.
Another thing is that the organization has numerously called for separation of African Americans into a separate state by means of occupying a part of the US territory. This is wrong for a number of reasons. First of all developing such a state stands for nothing else but creating a ghetto for African Americans. Secondly, such calls are not constitutional within the limits of the country, within which the organization has been developed and is functioning. Lastly, the organization, which desires to form into a separate nation, desires to have Islam as their official religion. Which is, certainly, very far from democratic ideals.
In general, mingling together the issues of politics and religion is a wrongful practice, which is oftentimes leads to dictatorship. Examples are numerous in the history of human kind.
Another main idea of the organization is that 10 to 15 per cent of the Earth’s population are ruling the rest of the populating in an unfair and wrongful manner, promoting ignorance and using mass ignorance as a tool for manipulation. The masses of people are led in the direction of which they understand little if anything. Thus, the organization’s leaders call for combating these ten per cent of population and putting the end to their supremacy. It is not quite clearly defined who these ten per cent of the Earth’s population are, however it is at the same time stated, that Jews are, more than others, account for all the problems of the Black race. Among other accusations against the Jews it has been particularly stated, that Jewish doctors have infected African Americans with HIV. This is a frightfully familiar statement. Let us not forget about the accusations of Nazis against the Jews and the story about the doctors’ plot in Soviet Russia. A weird path to follow in search of peace and equality.
Throughout the history of the organization, under various leaders, the NOI has undergone significant changes in ideology, particularly in its religious part. Among others, Malcolm X is known for his conversion to Sunni Islam and giving up the traditional ideology of the organization. In the late XX century there were groups within the Nation of Islam which attempted to follow different directions, bringing the organization in chaos and thus even more discrediting African Americans within the society, bringing things further away from the ideals of equality and combating racism.
In general it can be stated, that though the Nation of Islam has not significantly worsened the position of African Americans in the United States and abroad, their activities and the ideology they declare has oftentimes discredited African Americans by putting them into an opposition with the rest of the society. The leaders of organization have frequently spoken the language of racism and hatred, thus leading their followers towards isolation, calling for developing a separate state, which would develop even more severe isolation. The organization has been classified as an extremist and as an organization of hatred by numerous state bodies. This also does not contribute into development of a positive image of African Americans in the society. Modern rhetoric of the organization’s leaders is much softer and reasonable.
However this can be partially assigned to the pressure which has been put upon the organization’s leaders by various state bodies for their extremist position. It would be wrong to say, that the organization has managed to significantly worsen the position of African Americans in the United States. However they have led their followers in the direction, opposite from the goals declared in the official doctrine. Their activity has had nothing to do with promotion of equality and principles of non-discrimination. Luckily, they have not gained significant influence upon African American community within the state and has not been closely associated with African Americans by other ethnic groups in the United States or abroad.